Multiple migrants arrested in spree of robberies across NYC: NYPD

At least seven migrants were arrested Monday in connection to a string of robberies across New York City, NYPD officials said.

Police said that the suspects are part of a larger theft ring that is responsible for a string of cell phone robberies. 

The migrants, who have been linked to at least 62 incidents across the Big Apple, used mopeds and electric scooters to snatch things, such as iPhones and wallets from people on the street.

The thieves then sold the phones to the migrant posing as the ringleader, who would hack the phones to steal a person's bank information, police said.

The NYPD said the suspects primarily lived in city-run migrant shelters. 

"In recent months, a wave of migrant crime has washed over our city," said NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban. "They're essentially ghost criminals. No criminal history, no photos, no cell phone, no social media. Sometimes we're either unclear on a name or a date of birth."

Speaking at a news briefing Monday afternoon, NYPD leaders named eight suspects in connection with the ring: alleged mastermind Victor Parra, as well as Cleyber Andrada, Juan Uzcatgui, Yan Jimenez, Anthony Ramos, Richard Saledo, Beike Jimenez and Maria Manaura.

The NYPD said it's also investigating possible human trafficking at city shelters. 

Earlier Monday, NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell told FOX 5 NY that a spike in robberies and purse snatching had a direct correlation with the migrant crisis. 

Pressed for details to back up the claim of a crime wave, however, police and city officials said they couldn't provide them because the city doesn't track crime trends by the nationality of suspects.

In press appearances Monday, Adams noted the vast majority of the nearly 175,000 migrants who have come to the city are law abiding. He said it would be wrong for "any New Yorker to look at people trying to fulfill the next step on the American Dream as criminal."

But in recent days, Adams has also shown a willingness to pull back on a set of laws that often block the city from cooperating with federal immigration enforcement efforts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.